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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 892048, 6 pages
Research Article

Facebook Enhances Antidepressant Pharmacotherapy Effects

Clínica Médico-Psiquiátrica da Ordem, Rua Gonçalo Cristóvão, No. 347, Sala 202, 4000-270 Porto, Portugal

Received 28 August 2013; Accepted 24 October 2013; Published 19 January 2014

Academic Editors: C. M. Beasley, C. Capurso, and V. Di Michele

Copyright © 2014 Jorge Mota Pereira. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (TR-MDD) is a complex condition, with very low remission rates. In recent years some studies have been conducted on the implementation of cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy interventions via the Internet to MDD patients, and results have been promising. However, there have been no studies in patients with TR-MDD nor with the use of Facebook with the psychiatrist as “friend.” 60 TR-MDD patients were randomized to one of three groups: Facebook group with psychiatrist as “friend,” Facebook group without psychiatrist as “friend,” and control group (no Facebook use). Both Facebook groups spent at least 1 hour/day on Facebook, 7 days/week, during the 3 months. All patients maintained their usual pharmacotherapy. All participants were evaluated at baseline and at 1, 2, and 3 months for depressive symptoms using HAD17 and BDI-II. Results show that both Facebook groups had a decrease on HADM17 and BDI-II scores as well as higher remission and response rates than the control group, with better results if the psychiatrist was a “friend” on Facebook. Therefore, in TR-MDD, Facebook can be used as an effective enhancement therapy, adjuvant to pharmacological therapy with regular consultations, especially if the psychiatrist is the patient’s online “friend.”